A pilot hailing from Minnesota has been arrested after it was discovered that he had a loaded firearm in his hand luggage.
Some of you reading this will probably remember a time when traveling via aircraft did not come with the hassle that it does today. Due to constant terrorism threats and security measures having to be increased exponentially, passing through an airport can be quite a stressful process. What we need to keep in mind is that everything we go through before and after boarding a plane is for our own safety.
Yes, when time is ticking on our flight taking off, we may wonder what on Earth the TSA thinks we are planning to do with 200 ml of shampoo. They have their reasons though and we just have to grin and bear it. Most of us have probably been flagged for accidentally having too much liquid in our carry-on or for some other annoying reason. However, very few of us will have been pulled aside for having a loaded gun in our suitcase.
An airline pilot from Minnetonka, Minnesota, now knows exactly how that feels. Brian Machtemes was taken to one side and arrested while passing through security at Southwest Florida International Airport. The Sun Country Airlines pilot had a fully loaded handgun in his hand luggage. Not good.
Mr. Machtemes apparently showed TSA security that he had a permit to carry, which he had been issued back home in Minnesota, but it was not recognized in Florida. Star Tribune has also reported that the pilot was allegedly in violation of laws and rules regarding policy on pilots carrying firearms. Apparently, commercial airline pilots are allowed to have a firearm with them in the cockpit. However, that firearm must be transported in a locked case when not on the flight deck.
Whatever way you frame it, whether Mr. Machtemes had a permit or thought he was allowed to have a gun on him in an airport or not, the situation is a bad one. In the current climate, trying to get a loaded gun through an airport is going to not only raise a few eyebrows but potentially cause an all-out panic. The pilot is lucky that the TSA agents who dealt with and arrested him evidently did so in a calm and collected manner.